My son was diagnosed with autism.
The first thing I said after the doctor asked me what I was thinking was ‘Wow.’ I had no idea that this is where this was all going. ADHD, sure. I totally was on board with that. I thought we were going to get an ADHD diagnosis. Autism however, that was a shock – but not.
We have known that our kiddo was different. He has odd quirks, but don’t we all? He’s a kid, we were told by almost everyone when we brought up our concerns that he’d grow out of these things. So, he’s been through months and months of intervention, therapies, therapists, specialized training, education, schools, etc.
Do you know what my mom told me today? ‘I wish you had him in services sooner.’ She herself told me that there was nothing wrong with him when he was little and now here we are and here I am.
Autism is a scary thing because it’s such a broad condition. You can have high functioning autism or you can be low functioning, non-verbal. Our son is high functioning. Still, no one can tell me what the quality of his life will be like. No one can tell me how he will do in high school, if he can get into college, or even attend college. No one can tell me what his life will be like. No one can tell me if the things he struggles with today will be the same things that he struggles with tomorrow, or when he’s 18 or 30.
I’m upset and scared for a lot of reasons. I’m upset because I just don’t know. I’m upset because my son’s chances at a normal life have been complicated by I don’t even know what because no one even really knows what causes autism. Also terrifying is no one can tell me whether my infant will also be autistic. It’s a very upsetting and lonely place to be. I’m scared because I just don’t know what this means for my future, his future, and my family. My son’s condition has consumed every aspect of our lives and it’s exhausting and I fear that we won’t have access to quality care and services in the future.
So, am I writing? Not really. I’m frustrated and gutted. Everything else seems to be taking up my energy except for my writing. I’m gutted because I feel like writing is something where I’m just an outsider watching everyone else in the amazing writing community advance. I feel like I started out on social media and met so many people years ago who are landing agents, getting book deals, living this kick ass writerly life, and here I am…trying to keep from drowning and manage my family.
This is a much longer blog than I intended, but I guess they are just getting longer in general. The purpose was to share my writerly life on here and writing and life go together. Today is the 14th and I have not really excelled at NaNoWriMo. I have a novel I’m trying to edit and I have only been able to edit about 30 pages. My goal is to edit the entire thing this month. Wish me luck. Give me tips. What works? What doesn’t? I feel like at this point I just need to write in tiny bursts whenever I can find time.
For anyone who knows anything about autism send me a hello! I’m especially interested in learning about how other moms manage, especially moms who write. I’m also interested in this idea of self-care, which is essentially just taking care of yourself, I think. I used to work out TONS before both of these kids, and working out has been relegated to the basement of things-I-wish-I-could-do. That’s another thing I need to find time for, self-care – taking care of myself. Managing a full-time job, part-time Phd, two kids, house, husband, writing, it’s a lot.
We glorious moms do so much.
Love and light.
Photo by crimebythebook